Google is tweaking the logos of several popular products in a bid to "streamline the user experience."
How a move to a logo with lowercase text and a uniform blue font streamlines the user experience is a bit beyond my powers of analysis, but Google's Marissa Mayer and Jamie Devine said in a blog post that at the moment Google logos for certain products are different shapes and sizes, and so moving to a consistent size, font, and style "should make it easier for you to recognize which site you are on and navigate to wherever you want to go." However, it seems a bit of a stretch to believe people visiting Google Maps weren't sure whether they were on that site or Google News because Google used different font sizes and colors in the logos.
In any event, the new logo style can currently be found on the Google Code, Google Labs, and Google Moderator sites, and will be coming to the rest of the Googleverse in due course. The new logos couldn't help but remind me of former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's fondness for lowercase text in the many e-mails sent to Yahoo employees over the past year, although that was probably unintentional.